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6,500 Languages

6,500 Languages

2 mins 862 2 mins 862

The Venetian glass sat beside the 

Antique soldier cladded in combat 

Styled khaki riding an outraged horse.

Grandpa used to recite me Urdu poetries,

Sang in unison by countrymen to claim

Release off foreign policy.

I used to sit in awe

Grasping a notebook to my chest listening

What men in different countries cried out 

To liberalism.

'Sardas' meant freckles that

He drew on my forearm neatly without a 


He told me Portuguese seated

As a western romance language in the 

Iberian peninsula.

There are 6,500 

Languages we cover our tongues with,

Clothing it with black-blue bow tie and 

Welcoming it to our feast.

'Agape', he seldom

Smiled and said hid a meaning of selfless love.

A syrupy lamplight is strewn like old models

Of clay artwork,

Bathed more in sun and laid 

Out on tables, shelves, inside nooks, everywhere.

'Why is it that we have so many languages

But still choose to keep shut?'

Grandpa did not know.

He said the world

Did not too.

Our boots pounded on 

Cobblestones and the Latin wailed in the

Achy moonlit forest asking for help.

His language was like an old terrain the

Pilgrim laughed at.


He still doesn't let go.

Latin said the word 'lassata est' meant 

Not just being tired,

But to decay while masking

An undone spool of thread around life.

And life

Could not quit. 6,500 languages were held as ticket

Stubs for canceled vacations.

I wore a sad smile.

'If language is in galore, what do we fail in pa?'

Grandpa chuckled.

'Emoción', he spelled the word

On a crimson paper scrap,

Pulling out italics 

Softly. 'Emotion in Spanish?',

My dream is shedding

Its muddy, storm-laced skin gnawing now at a


His olive eyes peered through a decade

I held in mine,

'If only people had emotions left.'

If people had emotions left is like a metaphor

To decorate decaying flowers along corners of 

A hand-mirror.

And, I'm scattered fragments of

Yet another mirror my trembling hands dropped

On the marble floor.

Emotions, I rechecked the word.

Grandpa lowered his head burying

It in his cupped palm.

'Betrayal meant human in my mother tongue.'

There are thirty-one suns dusking on my

Mouth and

Yet 6,500 languages can't say it out


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